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Food Matching at the Fells Tasting

Given the synergy between food and wine I have long wondered at the lack of ‘combinations’ at tastings. While the industry thrives on gourmet meals (to which I receive far too few invites!) tailoring, usually, a single producers wines to each dish these events are exclusive and limiting in the number of participants.

Of course wine tastings offering dozens if not hundreds of wines are hard enough, and expensive to mount, operations without worrying about food samples. Back in October though the wonderful people at Fells hosted a tasting with various wines matched with food.

“This is a tasting with a difference. Not only does it offer you the opportunity to taste award winning wines from our portfolio of family owned producers but, for the first time, we have matched a selection of our wines to a range of delicious canapés to demonstrate the breadth and versatility of our range”.

I met up with Douglas and duly sampled said food and wine matches (expect the oysters… I can’t ‘do’ oysters). Of the 200 or so wines available to taste the following were offered with a food match (I’m sure Douglas has blogged about this tasting too, but I can’t find the post to link to direct).



White Wine Review/Tasting NoteWine Tasting Note: E Guigal St Joseph Blanc, 2006, Rhone, France
Price: £12.95 [More: Adegga / Snooth]
A 95% Marsanne, 5% Rousanne blend matched with chèvre, dressed radicchio, walnut croutons, ripe pear and toasted walnuts. A lovely wine restrained richness, almond, hazelnut and lime nose but the goats cheese was a little too strong for the wine, deadeneing it somewhat. But the radicchio and walnuts worked beautifully.



White Wine Review/Tasting NoteWine Tasting Note: Hugel Pinot Gris Tradition, 2005, Alsace, France
Price: £9.99 [More: Adegga / Snooth]

A 100% Pinot Gris and a super match with the canapé – Butter Chicken with coriander on a tiny poppadom – the butter really balancing the wine and the coriander bringing freshness adding to the lovely long-lasting taste.


Red Wine Review/Tasting NoteWine Tasting Note: Mouton Cadet Reserve Graves Rouge, 2006, Bordeaux, France
[More on Adegga / Snooth]
An on-trade only wine with an easy drinking style, but it didn’t match with the Chargrilled Rosemary-Marinated Lamb fillet, served pink, with babaganoush to dip. OK with the lamb but the dip killed the wine. The dish however was superb with the Rothschild Escudo Rojo, 2006 ( a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Cabernet Franc, 27% Carmenere, 7% Syrah).



Red Wine Review/Tasting NoteWine Tasting Note: Bodegas Torres Salmos, 2006, Priorat, Spain
Price: £11.99 [More on Adegga / Snooth]
Matched with Cochinillo Asado – organic roast suckling pig stuffed with juniper and rosemary with wild rocket and a Cox’s Apple Sauce – this blend of Spanish and international varieties (Garnacha Tinta, Syrah, Cariñena and Cabernet Sauvignon) was a deliciously superb match hiting every spot.



Red Wine Review/Tasting NoteWine Tasting Note: Edmeades Mendocino Zinfandel, Mendocino Valley, 2006, California
Price: £11.99 [More on Adegga / Snooth]
A lovely wine – big, fruity, slightly sweet with a nice crunchy berry finish went well with the Confit of Duck with Cranberry Relish on a Polenta Croute. Teh wine is a blend of 85.45 Zinfandel, 7.2% Petit Syrah, 3.7% Merlot, 2.7% Syrah and 1% Grenache. High alcohol at 15.5%.



White Wine Review/Tasting NoteWine Tasting Note: Tyrrell’s Winemaker’s Selection VAT 1 Semillon, 2002, Australia
Stockist: Waitrose Price: £7.99 [More: Adegga / Snooth]
Not often a fan of Australian Semillon disliking the waxy/herbyness but this particular version sings beautifully with food. In this case Bite-Sized Salmon, Smoked Haddock and Cod Tartlets.



Red Wine Review/Tasting NoteWine Tasting Note: Chakana Malbec, 2007, Argentina
Price: £5.50 [More on Adegga / Snooth]
A simple, basic wine with an upfront richness but came across as good with the food – bite-sized beef empanadas.

Many thanks to Fells for providing such an interesting tasting. While some of the matches didn’t quite work the effort in providing such an interesting array of canapés was well worth the trouble. While the Argentine Malbec was a rather disappointing end to the wine and food matches the rest of the tasting awaited – hell, they had a Room of Discovery and Room of Excellence left to explore.

[Tastings are not that suited to taking photographs, this snap, via the mobile phone, is out of focus but shows the Hugel Pinot Gris and the Butter Chicken with coriander on a tiny poppadom.]

2 Comments »

  1. Dylan says:

    Great concept for a tasting. I’m impressed they were able to coordinate the logistics for this. Weren’t you rather stuffed at the end?

  2. Andrew says:

    Stuffed? Not at all! There was a little sit down lunch too; which I enjoyed hugely fortifying us for the next tasting rooms!

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